The Bears placed OG Kyle Long and DE Mitch Unrein on injured reserve Tuesday, the eighth and ninth starters lost to season-ending injuries in 2017.
For Long, it marks the latest disappointing injury setback for one of Chicago’s best players. The 29-year-old started 47 of 48 consecutive games and made three consecutive Pro Bowls to begin his career. But he’s been limited to 18 games the past two seasons, both ending on injured reserve.
Long began the 2016 campaign with a torn shoulder labrum after signing a four-year, $40 million contract extension including $18 million guaranteed on the eve of the regular season. But he suffered a gruesome ankle injury in Week 10 that ended his season and required surgery.
Long was initially expected to have his shoulder and ankle repaired last offseason but a bad reaction to prescription drugs lengthened his recovery from ankle surgery and he opted to forge into a second consecutive campaign without fixing the shoulder.